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Nov 21, 2014
This week's theme
Words borrowed from German

This week's words
gemeinschaft
strafe
gleichschaltung
sitzkrieg
leitmotif

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leitmotif or leitmotiv

PRONUNCIATION:
(LYT-mo-teef)

MEANING:
noun: A recurrent theme in a piece of music or literature, situation, etc.

ETYMOLOGY:
From German Leitmotiv (lead motif), from leit- (leading) + Motiv (motive). Ultimately from the Indo-European root leit- (to go forth, to die), which also gave us lead, load, lode, and livelihood. Earliest documented use: 1937.

USAGE:
"Smart women speaking makes many men angry. Looking back, I see that this has been a leitmotif of my life. This may not surprise you, but it surprises me, every time."
Elizabeth Farrelly; If Only the World Boasted More Uppity Women; The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Feb 13, 2014.

See more usage examples of leitmotif in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do. -Voltaire, philosopher (1694-1778)

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